Fire Ant Control: What’s Being Done About It?

Scientists in several southeastern states wonder whether a tiny fly that beheads its victims can keep fire ants in their place.

The phorid fly, about the size of an ant’s head, lays its eggs inside of the fire ant’s body. The larvae develop in the ant’s head, and when they hatch, they decapitate the ant.

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An Old Friend Takes a Big Hit: NY IPM Slashed

As feared, the New York IPM Program was severely cut by New York’s state budget. This excerpt from a letter from Director Don Rutz tells the short version:

For the 2010-2011 budget year we were allocated $500,000 for Agricultural IPM and, most unfortunately, $0 for Community IPM. This represents about a third of our state allocation in recent years. When this is combined with our federal USDA IPM funding, we have approximately $700,000 that can be used for IPM. Therefore, we have funding for approximately only half of the IPM programming that we did in 2009. Obviously this will have most significant impacts on both our staffing and programming for the coming year.

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Choosing and Evaluating a Pest Control Contractor

Given the hot and humid summer that most of us are enduring, and the increase in pests as a result, I thought it might be appropriate to share some tips on hiring a pest control contractor. I adapted the following list from Laurie Brajkovich, Amy Davidson, Natalya Eagan, Ann Hanger, and Belinda Messenger School & Child Day Care IPM Program Pest Management & Licensing Branch Department of Pesticide Regulation, Sacramento, CA. The tips are targeted for school staff, but I generalized some of the tips for homeowners.

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406 IPM – Another Avenue Missed

I remember my first drive to Raleigh, 6 years ago when I took this job. It was after dark at the end of a long day. We were in sporadic phone and voicemail conversation with my friend, Ron, who was trying to direct me to the best way into town (I didn’t have a GPS). Our conversation, over the course of an hour or so, went something like this:

Ron, I’m on Rt. 85, just crossed the Carolina line. Where do I turn?

Head south on Rt. 1 at Henderson

Oops, we passed that 10 minutes ago.

(later) No worries. Take Rt. 15 at Oxford.

Dang, I can see that exit…in the rear view mirror. Now what?

(no signal).

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Spending the Summer with Mosquitoes

Asian tiger mosquito

image provided by Bugwood.org

Ah, summer! Vacations have started, pools are already crowded and the mosquitoes are biting. The intense heat that has plagued the east coast seems to have made this year’s mosquitoes more plentiful and vicious. For anyone who wants to know how to reduce the number of mosquitoes in his or her yard (although it’s virtually impossible), the Web has hundreds of suggestions on mosquitoes control. If you’re in the South, go to the list at the bottom of the page to find a fact sheet on mosquitoes for your state.

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NY IPM Safe, Although Cuts are Likely

Back in February, we alerted everyone to the possible elimination of the New York IPM Program. According to a news article published on July 8, the program has been put back in the state budget, but with significant reductions.

Strike 2: House Ag Approps Passes on IPM Funding

According to the Cornerstone Report, key IPM programs were not restored to the budget plan by the House Ag Appropriations subcommittee:

Unfortunately, funding was not restored for three other 406 programs: Regional IPM Centers, Crops at Risk from FQPA Implementation, and FQPA Risk Mitigation Program for Major Food Crops. We are hopeful that the Senate will restore funding for these programs as well as those restored by the House.

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